The Senate passed an annual defense authorization bill 86-8 today that includes a provision banning the transfer of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey if Ankara accepts Russia’s S-400 missile defense system. This is the fifth piece of major legislation that seeks to ban Turkey from receiving the aircraft despite Ankara’s participation in the F-35 co-production program.
Why it matters: The fact that a similar iteration of the F-35 ban exists in several major legislative packages indicates the growing bipartisan concern over the threat that the S-400 radar system could give Russia sensitive information on the F-35 aircraft and other US military hardware. The F-35 bans are currently in two House spending bills, both the House and Senate defense authorization bills and stand-alone legislation that pushes back against Ankara’s drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
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